The 7 Types Of Coaster Enthusiast

One of the things I've absolutely loved throughout my years of being an enthusiast is just how many different types of people I've been able to meet purely because of this crazy hobby. Ever since I joined my first theme park forum back in 2004 I've been able to connect with enthusiasts all over the world and I genuinely believe it's had a huge part to play in how my view of the world has developed as I've formed relationships and friendships with just about every type of person going - all we had in common a lot of the time was that we all loved coasters and theme parks! But among all that diversity, certain different types of enthusiasts have emerged to me - yes, we all love theme parks and coasters but a lot of the time we have very different ways of showing it or engaging in the hobby, which in my opinion only serves to further fuel my love of the madness that is the theme park community!

And I know we shouldn't label people or whatever so please bear in mind that this is just for fun and just a general light-hearted reflection of my observations over many years -this is the seven different types of coaster enthusiast.

I feel like at some point we all start off in this category. There will have been one point in all of our 'coaster careers' where we had very few credits under our belt and weren't that well-travelled. The key thing to note about the Newbie type is that despite not having visited hundreds of parks or knowing everything about the industry inside and out, there's no rivalling their sense of enthusiasm and wide-eyed, almost naive joy and anticipation for the tons of trips they want to go on and plans they want to make. Usually they'll be on the younger side, maybe early teens and just starting to think about what they want to do with their life, and the one thing they know for sure is they cannot wait to start going on as many trips as possible and racking up that coaster count!

On the other end of the spectrum we have the veteran - usually a little bit older and usually part of the classic coaster clubs like ECC and RCCGB. They remember the glory of '94 in the UK like it was yesterday and sometimes get a little sad that the industry might not ever like up to the magnificence that was that year. They'll have a strong sense of respect for the classic rides and will absolutely jump to the defence of coasters like the Grand National when people are giving them a hard time. They'll also usually be quite resistant to the likes of companies like RMC whose sole purpose it seems is to tear down their beloved favourites and replace them with brutal airtime machines with no elegance or class. To them, nothing beats the rattle of a good, old-fashioned wooden coaster and they're much more likely to be found in Blackpool Pleasure Beach than Thorpe Park!

Probably the most insufferable coaster enthusiast type on this list - this is the coaster enthusiast whose undying love for one particular park (usually a home park they've been visiting non-stop since they were a kid) is as exhausting as it is intense. It seems like they scour social media on the lookout for people slagging off their precious park and go out of their way to make it clear that this is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST PARK IN THE WORLD and they will NOT be told otherwise. Sometimes they argue with people who haven't even said the park is bad, they just don't agree that it is the best. They're usually not that well travelled but unlike the Newbie type they have no desire to travel either. Why visit anywhere else in the world when the best in the world is right on their doorstep?

Most likely found refreshing RCDB to see if any new credits have appeared since the last time they checked, which is most likely five minutes ago. Will spend hours planning and re-planning coaster trips so the cred-count is maximised and has exactly zero shame when it comes to getting that sweet, sweet plus one. They'll do anything to get that next cred hit, whether that means begging confused ride ops to let them have JUST ONE LAP on the Go Gator or squeezing in awkwardly on a Wacky Worm as horrified GP parents look on wondering who the hell the weirdo in the Cedar Point t-shirt is sitting so close to their kid. They think of it as a personal achievement to have visited all Gullivers Parks without a kid to get all of the credits and see absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that they had to be escorted around the park by park management to do so. Has probably ridden more Big Apples than B&Ms.

These are enthusiasts who somehow know a TON of stuff about rides and theme parks and gets properly stuck in with the community on social media, yet you can't remember the last time they visited a park. Usually this kind of enthusiast has some kind of fear of rides that has in turn turned into a fascination with the things. They don't enjoy coasters, but they do enjoy beholding them from afar with morbid curiosity. They're great for when you finally DO manage to drag them to a park because they're happy to hold your bags while you ride the things.

Most likely last heard complaining loudly in a queue for a ride that's been rethemed that it was so much better in the good old days when they were a kid. John Wardley's number one fan, this enthusiast time will spend hours trawling the internet for a snippet of old on-ride footage from Space Station Zero or Fifth Dimension and their most played Spotify songs are ride soundtracks from Tussauds parks in the 90s. They have an extensive collection of theme park memorabilia and somehow had the foresight to keep their park maps from visits as a kid. They'll often revisit the parks they went to as a child in the hopes that somehow that magic spark they felt will reignite, or to reride the oldest rides in the park that are pretty much the same now as they were when they were younger just in case age finally gets the better of them and they have to close. Has most likely started a petition for a park to bring back an old ride that's been closed for years now.

This is the enthusiast whose posts and comments has you wondering if they even like theme parks and coasters because all they do is complain. They have something negative to say about every single piece of theme park news that comes out yet somehow are also the enthusiast you see visiting the parks the most. It's like they get off on the negativity and that somehow fuels their enthusiasm. You have no idea what their favourite coaster or theme park might be because you can't actually remember if you've ever seen them say something positive about the industry...ever?

So there you have it. Which category do you fall into? Is there another category you've noticed that I'm missing? Let me know in the comments!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

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